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If That Cake Could Talk, It Would Say “Oy”

September 20th, 2010 by the_lifer

Winona is just finishing her guilty Monday-morning Facebook check at work when Jennifer, the loud part-time American, comes up to her. No need to minimize her browser so hastily, she sees. Jennifer is brandishing a plate.

“Hi! Wasn’t it a gorgeous weekend!” Jennifer half-yells. “I brought in some babka from Yom Kippur!”

Winona’s brow creases. “Yom? I don’t know him. Is it his birthday?”

Jennifer stops smiling. “It’s a Jewish holiday. It was this Saturday.”

“Oh! I hope it was lots of fun!” What did she say wrong? Jennifer, always transparent, looks stricken. Winona remembers what it was to be far from home, feeling out of sync with Londoners, trying to explain why biscuits with cornflakes in them were a treat.  What has Jennifer folded up in that rippled cake along with the cinnamon and butter? “I’m so sorry, I don’t know much about it, and I’d love to. Do you have a minute to tell me?”

Twenty minutes later, Winona is feeling smug again. Fancy voluble, flighty-seeming Jennifer taking a day to fast and meditate.  Though the dinner afterward sounded scrumptious. Perhaps she should go to church sometime, she hasn’t been in years…even so, Winona’s very proud of for catching herself and not saying, “So, it’s like Ramadan then?”

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